Monthly Archives: May 2015

Classic #jonesonF1: 1985 Portuguese Grand Prix

The most iconic photograph of the 1985 Portugese

The most iconic photograph of the 1985 Portuguese Grand Prix.

The Portuguese Grand Prix: Round 2 of 16 in the 1985 Formula One World Championship. Heading into the race, McLaren driver Alain was leading the Drivers Championship with 9 points ahead of Ferrari driver Michele Alboreto in second with 6 points and fellow Lotus driver Elio de Angelis in third with 4 points.

The big news in the days after the Brazilian Grand Prix was that Rene Arnoux had been fired by the Ferrari team as a result of problems with his physical condition. The team hired Stefan Johnasson to replace him. Toleman was still without tires The Tyrrell team had reached agreement with Stefan Bellof and so he was back and Zakspeed joined the field with one car for Jonathan Palmer. 

Ayrton Senna takes Pole Position for the 1985 Portuguese GP.

Ayrton Senna takes Pole Position for the 1985 Portuguese GP.  All rights reserved to car and the driver F1.com

In Qualifying, Ayrton Senna qualified in Pole Position with his Lotus Renault with Alain Prost qualifying in second place. The Williams-Honda od Keke Rosberg qualified in third place, with Senna’s team mate Elio de Angelis qualifying in fourth place.

Ferrari driver Michele Alboreto was in fifth place ahead of Derek Warwick in his Renault in sixth place, ahead of Niki Lauda in seventh place, Andrea de Cesaris in eighth place, Nigel Mansell in ninth place and Nelson Piquet who rounded off the top ten finishers.

On race day on Sunday, it was pouring with rain by the time it came for the race. Several drivers went off during the reconnaissance laps, notably Mansell and Eddie Cheever. Both of them had to start from the pitlane in spares.

Ayrton Senna leads the start of the 1985 Portuguese Grand Prix.

Ayrton Senna leads the start of the 1985 Portuguese Grand Prix.

Senna took the lead with de Angelis getting a good start to move to second. Rosberg stalled but everyone avoided the Williams  except Palmer who just clipped the rear of the car with the new Zakspeed. Palmer hobbled around to retire. Rosberg finally managed to get going but he spun on the first lap.

Ayrton Senna leading the 1985 Portuguese GP.

Ayrton Senna leading the 1985 Portuguese GP.

At the front of the field, Senna led de Angelis, Prost, Alboreto, Warwick, Lauda and de Cesaris. The Pirelli wet tires were not good and so the Pirelli runners (notably Piquet) faded quickly. The order remained unchanged at the front as Senna drove away from his rivals in majestic fashion.

Prost disappeared with a big spin on lap 30 and so Alboreto moved to third and Tambay to fourth. Mansell was fifth and Bellof (with mangled front wings) sixth. On Lap 43, Alboreto overtook de Angelis for second and in the closing laps the Lotus also dropped behind Tambay, ending the day fourth ahead of Mansell and Bellof.

Ayrton Senna wins the 1985 Portuguese GP ahead of Michele Alboreto in second place and Patrick Tambay in third place.

Ayrton Senna wins the 1985 Portuguese GP ahead of Michele Alboreto in second place and Patrick Tambay in third place.

Senna won his first ever Grand Prix win at the 1985 Portuguese Grand Prix with a fantastic drive ahead of Alboreto in second place and Tambay in third place. De Angelis finished the race in fourth ahead of Mansell in fifth and Bellof in sixth place. Warwick finished the race in seventh place ahead of Johnasson in eighth place and Ghinzani in ninth place.

The 1985 Portuguese Grand Prix saw Senna achieve his first win of his career and what a win it was. Senna was just on dominant form all weekend and just drove the wheels of the Lotus-Renault all weekend and was rewarded with a great win that showed just how talented he really was as a racing driver.

Senna demonstrated his proficiency in wet conditions by finishing the race at least one lap ahead of every car except second-place finisher Alboreto which is just fantastic and is a race that will always be remembered by the fans of why Senna was the “rain master”.

And as the 1985 World Championship leaded towards the next round in Japan at the Suzuka Circuit, Alborteo was leading the Driver’s Championship by 12 points ahead of Prost with 9 points and also ahead of Senna who also had 9 points in third place.

FIA launches new selection process for a new F1 team in 2016

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Chinese Grand Prix - Race Day - Shanghai, China

It has been announced today that the FIA has launched a new selection process that could bring a new Formula 1 team onto the grid as early as 2016.

Potential candidates must approach the FIA by June 30, after which they will be sent more detailed selection criteria, with full applications due by September 1 ahead of a final decision on September 30.

A statement from the FIA said a decision would be made based on “the overall long-term interests of the championship”, and it will not select an additional team if there is no viable candidate.

The FIA said it would assess:

  • The technical ability and resources of the team
  • The ability of the team to raise and maintain sufficient funding to allow participation in the championship at a competitive level
  • The team’s experience and human resources
  • The value the candidate may bring to the championship as a whole

American outfit Haas F1 will become the 11th team when it joins next year, while an additional entrant would return the grid to 12 squads for the first time since the 2012 Brazilian Grand Prix.

Before NASCAR team boss Gene Haas’ entry was confirmed last year, F1 tsar Bernie Ecclestone had suggested two new teams could join the grid; but has not said who these teams are.

Since Sochi last year, the largest grid has been 20 cars, as the Caterham team folded over the winter while Marussia has undergone a phoenix-like revival as the Manor team and managed to exit administration earlier this year.

But overall, I do think that the FIA have given this matter some serious thought and the selection process is logical and common sense. However, even though as much as some of us would like a new team in F1, the fact of the matter is that it will be difficult for any potential new team to enter a sport where competing never mind winning is at a significant cost.

Unless potential new teams can demonstrate that they have solid financial foundations in place to stay racing in the sport for at least 3-5 years which in my opinion will take a team to get to the level of winning races and championships; I don’t think we will see any new teams enter the sport after Gene Haas in 2016.

All I say is that in his economic world we now live in; its getting harder and harder to gain investment or even raise the money needed to survive and sustain themselves in whatever field you are in. To commit to a project like F1 needs time, investment, patience and personnel to get to a position to recoup everything and if you haven’t got that, then you will be spat up and chewed out quicker than anything.

And if you haven’t got the resources, you cannot survive or plan what you would like to do in life; its a shame but that is the world we live in now and no matter how much you want something, if you haven’t got what you need, you have to do without, even though F1 may not need that right now, but it is true and that is racing. Pure and simple.

 

Indian GP given a two month deadline to be included onto the calendar

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It has been announced today that barely a week after it appeared the Indian GP won’t return to the F1 calendar next year, Bernie Ecclestone has given them fresh hope.

The South Asian country made its Formula 1 debut in 2011 and the Buddh International Circuit near New Delhi hosted the race for three seasons before it was dropped ahead of the 2014 campaign due to tax and bureaucratic issues.

Indian papers reported that the race was unlikely to return in the near future, let alone 2016.

However, F1 supremo Ecclestone says they are still in negotiations with promoter Jaypee Group. In an interview with the media today, Ecclestone stated the following about the situation at the moment as follows:-

‘I hope we have a race in India next year. I am waiting for the promoters to come back to me. We will do whatever is needed to make sure India is back. There are no added challenges to the event.

‘We just need the Jaypee Group to say that ‘we are happy to carry on’ and we can revive the existing contract. They need to be in a hurry. Within the next two months, we need to know.’

From what Ecclestone has stated in his interview with the media today, it is clear that he is happy to have India back on the calendar; provided that they are able to commit to the event and find the money needed to host the event to the high standard that they need to by FOM and the FIA.

The situation appears to be the same as last week which is that they are currently evaluating their options about hosting the race and if they can afford it. But time is running out for India and they need to make a decision quickly as Ecclestone has granted them two more months and he’ll want an answer either way and you can be sure that he will have another interested country to take India’s place on the calendar.

But will India be back on the calendar for next season? I would say at this moment in time; no. But anything can happen in F1 and it usually does.

De Villota’s family considering legal options

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Spanish Grand Prix - Practice Day - Barcelona, SpainYesterday afternoon it was announced by Maria De Villota’s family via a statement to the press that despite a ruling that “no enforcement action is being taken”, her family are considering their legal options after her crash.

The Marussia test driver was seriously injured when she crashed into a support truck whilst conducting aerodynamic testing at Duxford. The Spaniard lost her right eye as a result and died 15 months later at the age of 33. Her death was ruled to be a “consequence of the neurological injuries she suffered” in the testing crash.

On Tuesday, Health and Safety Executive (HSE) announced that, after a lengthy investigation, “no enforcement action” will be taken.

It was announced yesterday afternoon that her family have not ruled out legal action, saying they will wait until they have read the full report.

A statement from the family stated the following on the matter at hand:-

‘To date, we are still waiting to see the contents of the report, and therefore the findings of the investigation, which are crucial to learn from.

‘As soon as we have seen the report we will analyse this in order to evaluate the next legal steps to claim the corresponding civil compensation from those responsible, in order to prevent – as Maria herself always wanted – an accident like this occurring again due to negligence.’

Jones on F1 has been nominated for an Best Blog award from F1 Fan Awards

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I am pleased to announce that Jones on F1 has been nominated for the Best Blog Award at the first f1 Fan Awards.

Over the past few weeks, many F1 fans on Social Media such as Twitter have been suggesting via completing online questionnaires on each categories such as Best Blog, Best Driver, Best Personality, Best Twitter etc.

The F1 Fan Awards panel have now gone through all of these entries and now released the short list for each catergory and Jones on F1 has been shortlisted for the Best Blog award. I cannot believe that people have voted for the blog and I cannot thank you all enough. I am so honoured to be in this category with some AMAZING fellow bloggers and I certainly couldn’t have predicted this in the 2 and half years I have been writing!

You can now vote for all the nominees and their categories by filling in an form here to register your votes here:- https://t.co/ndjbBhBUjT. You can also find the form on F1 Fan Award Twitter here:- https://twitter.com/TF1FanAwards.

You have until the Friday 19th June 2015 and the winners will be announced on Sunday 21st June 2015 (my birthday!). I wish everyone nominated the best of luck and also thank you so much for your support for Jones on F1 to be shortlisted and also if you also vote for the blog to win as well!

Mercedes looking into their Monaco blunder at a debrief at their factory

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It was announced this morning that the Mercedes team will look to get to the bottom of their Monaco blunder at a debrief at their factory.

The defending Champions looked set for a 1-2 finish at Monte Carlo on Sunday, but their decision to pit race leader Lewis Hamilton for a fresh set of tyres backfired.

With Nico Rosberg in the second Mercedes and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel opting not to pit, it meant that Hamilton finished the race in third place.

In an interview today with the media, Mercedes motorsport boss Toto Wolff has stated that the team had made a mistake and squad will “analyse” the “gremlins in the system” at their Brackley base this morning. Wolff stated the following:-

‘We discussed it in an overview and we get back together on Tuesday morning to analyse it and by then we will know where we had a gremlin in the system.’

It is clear that there still some questions left unanswered from last weekend in Monaco and they believe that the debrief will help them get the answers that they need in order to understand exactly what happened in order to stop this happening again.

Further on in his interview, Wolff hasn’t lost any faith in his team as a result of this mistake and believes that they will be able to correct the issues that happened last weekend. Wolff added the following:-

‘I rate that guy and his group just as highly as I did before the race. He was dragged in by a decision, fooled by the numbers. There is no doubt what happened. We had a problem in our data tools and those data tools have won us many great races.’

Overall, it is clear that Wolff believes in the personnel and talent that they have working within the team and that these situations occur sometimes. But all they can do is in the debrief today is find out exactly what happened, resolve the issue and try to ensure that this doesn’t happen again.

Because if it does, not only will make the team look incompetent; it will also test the patience of their drivers. This time it affected Hamilton and took away clearly a victory that he was heading for after dominating the race until this happened; Mercedes cannot afford to make anymore mistakes like this and were lucky that Rosberg were in second place and it wasn’t the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel who appears to be their closest rival at the moment.

No further investigation into de Villota’s testing accident

Motor Racing - Formula One World Championship - Spanish Grand Prix - Practice Day - Barcelona, Spain

It has been confirmed this morning after an investigation into Maria de Villota’s accident when testing a Marussia Formula 1 car in 2012 has concluded today that no action will be taken against the parties involved.

De Villota crashed into an articulated trailer while carrying out a straightline test for Marussia at Duxford Aerodrome. She lost her right eye but was able to make a full recovery from her other injuries. Sadly, she passed away in October 2013 when she was only 33 years of age.

Soon after the incident, the Marussia team ruled out any problems on the car as the cause following its own in-depth investigation.

And the Health and Safety Executive, whose remit is to investigate incidents where someone has been injured as a result of a work activity, has now concluded its own enquiry. In an statement to the press this morning, an HSE spokesperson stated the following:-

‘The investigation into the incident has now concluded and no enforcement action will be taken against any parties involved.’

The Marussia team still competes in Formula 1 but now under the Manor name and it is not commenting following the HSE’s study.

All you can say is that the team and now the HSE have confirmed that no further action will be taken against anyone involved in the investigation. Even though that is surely great news for everyone associated with this; it will never replace the sad loss that Formula One has suffered after de Villota’s death and now that everything has been settled on the matter; may we continue to remember her in the manner she would have wanted to; with her track record in the sport.